Packaging Logo November 12, 2013 Forward
Package Development
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Top-level considerations for revitalizing packaging...
main image Ron Romanik, Contributing Editor
It's not always easy to decide when it's the right time to update, or "revitalize," your packaging. There are many factors to consider, but the motivation is often out of many brand owners' hands. The current competitive environment is driving frequent package design changes in a number of ways.

Retailers are asking for new and better packaging, new entries are driving constant innovation, existing brands are piling on the SKUs, private-label products are changing the rules, regulations are requiring more information on packaging, and sustainability improvement requests are becoming ubiquitous.

Here's what to consider when updating packaging design.

1. Explore the brand history and its equities. Study the current and past package designs closely. Consult previous design firms or advertising agencies. Marketers should dig deep for previous brand images in past packaging and advertising—and in consumers' minds. Know what the brand represents to its loyal consumers, where it has been, and where it can go. And—just as importantly—know what the brand is NOT. A brand shouldn't try to be everything to everyone. It's totally possible that the brand exists as an idea, or a value, that is not tied to words, colors, or shapes. It may have no tangible visual or verbal equities, but that is rare. What is the brand story that consumers connect with? How can you enhance that emotional experience? What are the equities, the key visual messages, and the brand aspects that need to be future-oriented?

2. Expect the politics of heritage. Change can be difficult. Many brand owners have a sentimental attachment to the past. They believe that their brand logo or primary colors are a large part of their success, when the truth might actually be that those design elements are holding the brand back. In addition, some brand owners believe package design is an additive exercise, where more is better, when the opposite can often be true. Too many marketing messages can inhibit brand communication.
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